shan zu butcher knife

Why A Butcher Knife Set Is An Ultimate Savior

Jan 04, 2022ZU SHAN

shan zu butcher knife

If you like flaunting your skills in the kitchen, you might want to know everything about a butcher knife set. Whether you're an aspiring chef or love juggling the meat for your friends and family, a butcher knife set can be your ultimate savior. Many people believe butcher knife sets are reserved for butchers, hunters, or professional chefs, which is totally wrong. 

The long sharp blades of a butcher knife set can ease up the task of cutting different meats to experiment with spices in your kitchen. We're here to unfold everything necessary to know about a butcher knife set before you step into your kitchen next time.

Without further ado, let's dive into it! 

What is a butcher knife?

A butcher knife or butcher's knife is specially designed for meat processing. There are dozens of sizes available in butcher knives to ease the job. These knives typically have an 8" blade that is inflexible and robust to efficiently deal with stubborn meat. The curve blade, including the pointed tip, is the identification of a butcher knife. 

For better grip, the handle of a butcher knife is kept broad that offers an easy and firm grip to cut through large and touch pieces of meat. 

Due to its non-flexible nature, it is used within as a butcher knife set together with a boning knife, skinning knife, cleaver knife, carving knife, and others that help reach the last step smoothly. 

These knives are constructed using various materials like carbon, alloys, and stainless steel in the best case. A butcher knife set is ideal when preparing a brisket, steak, roast, ribs, turkey, etc. 

Why do you need a good butcher knife set?

Mostly people like to cook what they like to eat most. In your case, if you're a meat-lover or practicing to serve those who love the chewy bites, you need to level up your game with a good butcher knife.

In case you're wondering, here's why you must go for a good quality butcher knife set if you tend to deal with meat.

When planning to aww your guest with perfect cuts, you need something to support you in the kitchen, and that's what a butcher knife is designed for. It is not only the skill and practice of a butcher that he manages to toss the perfect piece with mathematical cuts with so ease and confidence. It's his perfect tool complimenting the job.

When you want different, sleek, and perfect cuts to execute your party plan, slicing meat with the wrong knife will eat your whole day while leaving you with nothing but frustrating pieces of uncooked meat. 

A butcher knife is built to shoulder the tension required to deal with the rigid cuts. You cannot favor yourself better than purchasing a good butcher knife to prepare your meat before consumption. 

Even if you're a beginner, the knife will let you have control over the driving seat while keeping hold of the brakes. Meaning no more compromising with butcher's cuts but eating your meal just the way you want it. 

Last but not least, what better way do you have to show off your cooking skills than by taking out a sleek butcher knife before your guests to provide them with fresh, perfect cuts. 

What makes a good butcher knife?

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of butcher knives available in the market that differ from one another. Here's a list of factors to consider when purchasing a butcher knife. 

The Handle

First thing first!

The handle is the most important yet ignored part of a knife. It is the part that is directly in contact with you and one of the deciding factors if the knife will make it to your all-time favorite list or not. 


People think the first thing to look at in a knife is the blade. However, we believe there's nothing beyond comfort. Imagine using a brilliant knife that hurts when working. 

Disturbing right? 

The blade will be dealing with the dead meat, but the handle will be dealing with your hand that will hurt if the grip is not comfortable. Go for a versatile design to offer comfort for both rights and left-handed people. 


When it comes to knives, safety should be your priority, not just for yourself but for the sake of the people around you. When working with the meat, you might get in contact with the wetness of the meat. 

If the knife has a slippery or formattable handle, you might hurt yourself or others. It's better to look for a knife with a textured handle that offers a better grip even when your hands are wet. Ideally, go for a knife with high nylon content to better grip.

The Blade

Now comes the part without which a knife is like a dead soul. Since the blade has to be in direct contact with your food, you will need it to help you maintain hygiene. A blade made of high carbon stainless steel is ideal in this case because it is both efficient at work and easy to maintain. 


Last but not least, don't be too harsh on your eyes when picking up a butcher knife. The appealing aesthetics might make you tempted to experiment more with the cuts. I'll help you fake it till you make it. 

The different types of butcher knives

A newbie might not know, but there is not just one type of butcher knife; instead, there are plenty ready for employees at different jobs. Here's the list of butcher knives and what they are good at.

The Meat Cleaver

This one is a part of every butcher knife set due to its usefulness. It has a fairly large blade and rectangular hatchet shape. The large size of the blade eases up the process of cutting through the toughest parts. It is ideal for cutting bones and getting through thick pieces of meat. 

The Traditional Butcher Knife

Also known as an "English Butcher Knife", the traditional butcher knife is a constant piece in a butcher knife set. It has a wide blade with a curved tip which makes it a versatile knife that helps achieve different cuts. 

The Breaking Knife

A breaking knife is dedicated to turning large meat pieces into small, presentable, and easy-to-eat pieces. It has a long yet curved blade that supports the clean-cutting process. This one is used for removing extra fat from the pieces as well. 

The Boning Knife

The boning knife has a simple yet important job. It is used to extract the bones out of meat for a pleasant meaty experience. They are available with both curved and straight blades. 

The Chef Knife

As the name suggests, it is a perfect kitchen partner for a chef. It is a versatile knife designed to perform various tasks such as slicing, chopping, cutting, etc.

The Carving Knife

A carving knife becomes a must-have when you prefer having a certain quantity with quality of meat when cooking. They have a long thick blade with a sharp point that makes it easy to cut the exact amount of meat when needed. 

The Slicing Knife

It has a long, thin blade, usually between 8 to 12 inches, with a round or pointed tip. The knife is designed to cut perfect slices of cooked meat. 

The Filleting Knife

A filleting knife is a reliable partner that helps gain maximum food with minimum waste. It typically has a blade length between 15 to 28 cm and is used to remove meat skin and cartilage. 

The Skinning Knife

A skinning knife is identified by its wide yet short blade. It is comparatively a less flexible knife mostly referred to as a hunting tool. They are good at detaching animal skin from the meat.

The Cleaver Knife

A cleaver is used to extract the meat. They are large knives with sharp blades having rigid edges. This makes it an ideal choice to deal with bones, dense cartilage, and thick, stubborn pieces of meat. 

The Scimitar Knife

It is a butcher knife having a large, wide, and curved shape. Its blade is typically b20 to 35 cm long and allows achieving longer slices of meat. 

Chef's Knife vs. Butcher's Knife vs. Cleaver

A chef knife is a basic knife necessary for any operational kitchen. From beginners to professionals, everyone can use it conveniently for food preparation like chopping, cutting, dicing, etc. 

On the other hand, a butcher's knife is a bit of a professional tool for butchering. It helps to cut through the rigid thick meat pieces and bones, 

A cleaver knife is a large knife that comes in various shapes, usually having a rectangular-blade hatchet. It is a versatile knife used for cutting large yet soft pieces of meat and bones. 

What is the best way to use a butcher knife?

Butcher knives, unlike others, are a little technical and demand proper learning to help you achieve your goal through a smooth process. 

  • To avoid hurting yourself, focus on having full control and a proper grip on the knife. 
  • Position the knife and cut by pressing down and away.
  • Don't attempt to use a butcher knife for cutting bones. Let a cleaver knife handle that part. 

7. Frequently Asked Questions 

- Should a meat cleaver be sharp?

A cleaver knife is a versatile knife that can do multiple jobs. The tip of the knife must be sharpened at 25 to 50 degrees per side to handle the meat bones better.

- What knife can cut through bone?

Bones are tricky yet rigid to cut through. Cleaver knife is dedicated and most suitable to ease the process. 

- Why does a butcher's knife have that hole?

A butcher knife is designed to cut through thick and rigid bones and meat pieces. Many people don't notice, but its blade has a hole in it. The hole on the blades eases up the process of cutting meat. It allows users to have a better grip of the upper part with their fingers which saves energy, time, and effort. 

- What is a good meat cleaver?

There are plenty of cleaver knives available in the market with variations in the handle, blade, size, and blade material. In our opinion, Cleaver Butcher Knife 7" from Classic Series by SHAN ZU is an amazing piece. 

- Why is the cleaver so popular in Chinese cooking?

A cleaver knife is used for mincing, dicing, and slicing. In Chinese culture, most kitchen tasks are done with the same knife. Because a cleaver knife is one of the most versatile knives, it is most popular in cooking Chinese food. 

- What's the best way to store a meat cleaver?

Storing a knife properly is extremely important if you don't want unnecessary accidents in your kitchen. The most convenient and efficient way to store a meat cleaver is a wall-mounted magnet.  

- What does a butcher knife look like?

Different butcher knives have different identification. Generally, when you see a large, thick blade constructed from sturdy steel, know that it's one of the many types of a butcher knife. 

- What is a cleaver knife used for?

A cleaver knife is a heavy knife is a big blade. It is best to cut through the toughest parts like bones and thick meat pieces.

- What is a butcher knife used for?

As the name suggests, a butcher knife is used to cut meat. Both professionals and aspiring chefs can use it for butchering and cutting through the meat. 

- What is a utility knife?

A utility knife is a general knife used in most kitchens for cutting and chopping. 

- Can I use a bread knife for cutting meat?

No! Never use a bread knife to cut meat because they have serrated edges that will produce poor meat cuts. 

- Do I need a carving knife?

A carving knife is designed for slicing and carving meat. It's better to use a carving knife to achieve the best results.

- so which one is better, the butcher or the cleaver?

A butcher and cleaver knife look similar with differences in their blade. Both have different uses; hence nobody can say if a butcher knife is better or a cleaver knife. 


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